I’m always looking for the perfect book and it seems to be a lifelong quest. I don’t know what makes the perfect book, perhaps it correlates to specific times in my life, seeing myself in various characters, or just becoming so enamored with a plot that I am utterly consumed. It’s amazing the way books can fit perfectly into our lives, like a piece of a puzzle that has been missing for far too long. An author’s voice can also fill these holes. Maeve Binchy is one of those authors for me. She is a soothing balm. Her easy, effortless way with words calms me. Last night I was churned up. It was cold and late and I was worried about the baby waking. I had been reading a thriller but it seemed to make my pulse pound. So I picked up my kindle and scrolled through the purchases I had made but had yet to tackle. There she was, Maeve. I had downloaded a short story, A WEEK IN SUMMER, and decided to take a look. What better story to read when we are currently buried under three feet of snow than one set in summer? I told myself I would give it a page or two and then retire for the night. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Nothing earth shattering happens in this story, it’s simpy about a couple planning a vacation, and yet I was mesmerized. What is it about her writing?, I thought. Why is it so calming, so engaging, so real and honest and true? I haven’t finished the story (even though it is quite short) because I don’t want it to end. I want to keep flipping the pages and falling deeper and deeper into the lives of Brian and Kathleen. I think what I love so much about Maeve Binchy is that you can tell through her writing that she LOVED life. She loved the quiet moments. She loved the surprises. She even loved the sadness because it was a testament to a full and real life. I’m sad she’s gone because it means there will be no new Maeve stories to lose myself in. Maybe I will have to create them for myself? Once again, I’m inspired and excited about life. Maeve would be proud.